Rerun off-cycle governorship election will hold in nine wards in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State on November 18, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission said in Abuja on Sunday.
The decision followed the suspension of the November 11 off-cycle governorship election in the wards.
National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr Mohammed Haruna, explained that the suspension arose from reports that result sheets were completed for the wards before voting began on November 11.
He added that the most critical incidents occurred in nine wards out of the 10 wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA.
“We received reports of similar and other incidents in Adavi Local Government Area involving five polling units in Okunchi/Ozuri/Onieka Ward.
“We also received reports from Ajaokuta Local Government Area involving five polling units in Adogo Ward and in one polling unit in Eika/Ohizenyi Ward in Okehi Local Government Area. Five polling units in Obehira Uvete Ward in Okene Local Government Area were also affected.
“Results from the affected polling units have been accounted for in Form EC40G for the four local government areas.
“In the case of Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area, only the result of Oshobane Ward II with eight polling units and 2,264 registered voters has been collated.
“Election in the other nine wards – Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu – involving 59 polling units and 15,136 registered voters remain suspended.
“In line with Electoral Act (2022) and INEC Regulations and Guidelines on the Conduct of Elections (2022), fresh elections will be held on Saturday November 18 in the affected polling units,’’ Haruna declared.
He added that the decision to hold fresh elections was subject to the returning officer’s determination of the application of the margin of lead principle.
“This decision is without prejudice to our avowed commitment to follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process. Appropriate sanctions will be meted where necessary,’’ he assured.
Haruna reiterated INEC’s assurances to Kogi voters that their votes would continue to count and their wishes respected.